Hidden dining gems in South Lake Tahoe

By: Irma Salazar

With the number of restaurants, bars and coffee houses that dot Lake Tahoe from east to west, there are a number of sweet spots around town that we locals call hidden gems.

Here are a few of my favorite places I think you’ll enjoy on your visit to South Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe man and crabs at local restaurant
Overland Meat & Seafood Company
  1. Ernie’s Coffee Shop
    With a cabin like exterior & laid-back vibe, this coffee shop has been a local’s favorite for a long time. It welcomes diners for breakfast & lunch from 6AM-2PM. Their vast menu has a wide selection of classic American foods as well as a variety of options that reflect the tastes. They pride in serving the highest quality locally roasted Alpen Sierra coffees and espresso, as well as fresh-squeezed orange juice mimosas, bloody marys. They are located on the less busy side of South Lake Tahoe at 1207 Emerald Bay Rd. honestly; you can’t go wrong with this place.
  2. The Free bird
    Tahoan’s love their coffee, herbal teas, and smoothies, and we have plenty of places in town to prove it. One of my favorites is The Free bird, which offers quick and tasty all-natural and organic food and beverages designed especially if you’re on the fly. With some of the best coffee varieties in town, The Free Bird also offers healthy smoothies, homemade chai tea, baked goods, soups, salads, and delicious meat and veggie pot pies. It’s definitely worth the stop, especially if you’re in a hurry and want something healthy to go. 2753 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
  3. Taqueria Jalisco
    Truly a hidden gem that won’t break your bank! One of the great things about South Lake Tahoe dining is that locals have no problem telling visitors where their favorite Mexican food joint is and why it’s so good. Taqueria Jalisco owned by a long time local, has an outstanding salsa bar to dress your favorite tacos or burritos. You can find this delicious REAL authentic spot at 972 Tallac Ave in midtown.
  4. Emerald Bay Bar & Grill
    Brew, burgers, sandwiches, fries, and steaks: There are plenty of places that serve all of these and then some, but there’s only one place that can give you the atmosphere! Formally known as Brother’s Bar & Grill, they have kept the same fun staff and delicious food. Locals who embrace each other’s company whether it’s watching a game, bellied up at the bar, on the outdoor patio or the fire pit.
  5. Overland Meat and Seafood Company
    Overland Meat and Seafood Company is not a place where you dine in, but you take out. And when I say “take out” I mean you buy it and take it home to prepare your way. Overland is South Shore’s only full-service meat market that features all natural meat with no hormone implants, no antibiotics, and no animal by-products. All meat is free range and organic, whether its beef, poultry or pork. And the seafood is especially fresh, flown in daily from Hawaii. You’ll also find a nice selection of fine wines, sauces, rubs, cheeses, and many other side dishes to go along with your meal. 2227 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite C in the Kings Trading Post

 What’s your favorite off-the-beaten path bar, restaurant or coffee house in Lake Tahoe?

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